The 2020 National Seminar is cancelled.
The Office of Education and Sentencing Practice continues to monitor developments related to the novel coronavirus, looking to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, and the Office of Personnel Management for guidance. Consistent with those agencies’ decisions, we have cancelled the 2020 National Seminar.
Our HelpLine remains fully operational. If you need assistance, please call us at 202-502-4545. We will make every effort to return your call within 48 hours.
What topics will you cover?
This year’s agenda is robust. We have extended the seminar from three to four days. On Tuesday we will offer both introductory and advanced sessions covering guidelines fundamentals to prepare you for the courses offered on Wednesday, when we’ll cover criminal history, grouping of multiple counts, and the guidelines that apply to the most common offense types, including firearms, drug trafficking, immigration, and economic crimes. On Wednesday we’ll also cover violent crimes and sex offenses, examining some of the complexities of sentencing involving multiple counts of conviction for those offenses. On Thursday, we’ll have a full day’s worth of case law updates, as well as new sessions featuring sentencing scenarios, common mistakes and how to fix them, and how to find helpful Commission data. On Friday, BOP staff will answer audience questions about programming, designations, custody credit, and much more.
That all sounds really great, but also really advanced. Should I attend if I’m new to federal sentencing?
Absolutely. There are various ways you can get up to speed. First, we have three interactive courses online that are introductory level. Federal Sentencing: The Basics provides an overview of the federal sentencing system, and is based on the primer of the same name. Basic Relevant Conduct and Basic Criminal History provide an overview of two important aspects of guideline application. Then, be sure to attend our introductory level courses on Tuesday. Tuesday’s courses include Criminal History and Relevant Conduct, two foundational concepts that are key to understanding federal sentencing. We strongly encourage those new to federal sentencing to attend the intro sessions and to stay for the entire seminar.
I have questions about sentencing but I’m not sure you’re going to cover them.
No problem! Our HelpLine is a great place to start. You may call us at 202-502-4545 and leave a message with your sentencing questions. We do our best to return your call within 48 hours. If you have a specific question about the National Seminar agenda, please email us at NationalSeminar@ussc.gov.
How much does the seminar cost?
There is no cost to register.
Will I receive CLE credit?
Pre-approval for CLE accreditation will be made to all state bar associations.
What have others said about our training programs? (Comments may be edited for clarity.)
“Use of interactive training, examples, and scenarios was extremely helpful. Much better than lecture format. This practical application facilitates learning.” – Probation Officer
“The fact patterns and mini tests are excellent ways of helping me retain and process the information.” – Judge
“This was an outstanding seminar. The lecturers were well-informed, presented the information in common sense, straightforward, and entertaining manner.” – CJA Panel Attorney
“I just found out that I won this appeal. We appellate defense lawyers don’t get to say that very often. . . you had two very informative presentations on the categorical approach in general, and about sex offenses that helped inspire my argument. – Defense Attorney
“I believe it is very important for USPOs to attend the National Seminar at least every few years to keep up with the constant changes in the guidelines. The presenters are always the most effective part of the training. Their knowledge base and experience is first rate.” – Probation Officer
“I use the workbook provided to us at the conference all the time.” – Probation Officer
“Frankly great session. In my 25 years of practice this is the first CLE that I learned and enjoyed every section of it. Thanks.” – Defense Attorney
“Best and most informative CLE I've ever attended. No kidding.” – CJA Panel Attorney
“Very helpful and informative. I enjoyed the audience participation with the clickers.” – Law Clerk
“The app was great as I had access to the slide shows and to all the materials presented. Even if you could not attend a session one could look over the materials covered.” – Probation Officer
“I wanted to express my appreciation for your preparation in the training of the Drugs and Guns guidelines and related issues last week. I had sentencing yesterday and the contested issue was mainly the 4-level enhancement for gun trafficking. The Court determined it applied in our case. I used several of your handouts to assist the Judge in making his decision and he expressed his appreciation for my help to my supervisor. I have never been so grateful for the training in my career as I was yesterday.” – Probation Officer